Activité coopérative: L’imparfait et le passé composé

In the spirit of my goal to increase student output and oral communication in the class, I had my grade 9 Immersion students do a cooperative learning activity.  It was inspired by an activity I found in Parle-moi un peu! that I adapted.

Basically, this is how it worked…

The title was “L’enfance de grand-mère Marie”.  I gave students a piece of paper with an image on it and a brief caption.  I had 3 sets of images, each set on a different coloured piece of paper.  For instance, the first one was of a stork carrying a baby with the caption: “Date de naissance: le 4 mai, 1947”.  There were nine such images of different events and situations in this grandmother’s childhood.  Students had to write a sentence to describe what was happening in the image.  So, saying that she was born on the 4th of May would require the use of the passé composé.  An image of her walking to school would require the use of the imparfait.  Once they had their sentences, I had all the students with the blue slips of paper sit together, all the students with the yellow ones sit together and all the ones with the green ones sit together.  Once they were together, I told them that they were now sitting together with their “cousins” and their task was to piece together the childhood of their grandmother in order to write her biography.  So, they had to figure out the correct order of events and put their sentences together.  

I liked the fact that they were working together and debating on the order of events.  They were also discussing whether the verbs needed to be in passé composé or imparfait. We didn’t have time to do the gallery walk.  I’m going to post them up tomorrow and they will read each others’.  Then we’ll take a look at them and discuss their decisions.  So much more fun than grammar exercises….

Give it a try and let me know how it worked in your class!


About Mme Martin

I am a high school French teacher in Ontario, Canada. I've been a teacher for the last 14 years and I love what I do. I am always looking for ways to improve my teaching by learning from my colleagues, reading, attending conferences and workshops. I also completed a Masters of Education degree, specializing in Second Language Acquisition. My goal is to increase students' oral fluency in French and I would like to share this journey with you in the hopes that you will find new ideas and be inspired to do the same. I will let you know what I try in my classes and what works and what doesn't. I hope you will find a wealth of ideas to use in your class.
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